Pet Wellness Guides > Common Teddy Bear Dog Health Issues - Pet Insurance Review

Common Teddy Bear Dog Health Issues

Posted: 01/31/2024 | BY: Jenna Bruce | Categories: Dog , Health problems , Pet care

Having a dog in your life is one of the best things in the world. While some people like a big, muscley dog, others prefer something smaller and adorable to snuggle up next to. If that’s you, look no further than the teddy bear dog. Tiny, cuddly, and insanely adorable, these dogs make wonderful companions. But, like all dog breeds, teddy bear dogs come with their own health problems. Keep reading to learn about the most common teddy bear dog health issues to be aware of.

But first, a little background…

Origin of the Teddy BearHybrid

The teddy bear hybrid was created back in the early 2000s and its popularity has increased significantly over the decades. And it’s easy to see why people have fallen in love with this designer breed. That adorable face with the little button nose and eyes and all of that fluffy fur… these pups genuinely look like stuffed teddy bears!

As a designer dog, the teddy bear is a combination of two pure breeds. Originally it was a cross between the Shih Tzu and Bichon frise breeds. But there are now several teddy bear dogs, both pure and mixed in their lineage. 

Let’s look at some of the most popular teddy bear breeds as well as the common health issues they face:

Zuchon Teddy Bear Dog

The OG of the teddy bear breed, the Zuchon (sometimes also called a Shichon) is a cross between a Bichon Frise and Shih Tzu. One of the tiniest teddy bears, Zuchons typically weigh between 12 and 14 pounds and get about 12 inches tall.

Zuchons are incredibly loving and playful dogs that can live to the ripe old age of 15. Once trained and properly socialized, Zuchons make great family pets! These pups do like and need constant attention, so they do best in households where someone is home most of the day. So great for retirees or those who work from home.

When it comes to teddy bear dog health issues, all hybrid breeds are prone to the same health problems as their parent breeds. In the case of the Zuchon, they are most prone to:

  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Deafness
  • Liver Disease
  • Epilepsy

As with all fur babies, you’ll want to take your Zuchon in for regular checkups. The sooner your vet can detect a potential health problem, the better the treatment options and health outcomes.

Poochon Teddy Bear Dog

teddy bear dog health issues

The adorable Poochon is a cross between a Poodle (usually either miniature or toy poodle)and a Bichon Frise. Talk about a fluffball! This breed is relatively small and has a life expectancy of 15 years. The good news is they don’t shed very much at all. The bad news is, they do require regular grooming. 

Thanks to their Poodle parent, Poochons are incredibly intelligent, which makes them easy to train. They love being social, but like the Zuchon, they can suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for long periods of time. 

The Poochon is prone to the following common health conditions:

  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Patellar Luxation 

Shih-Poo Teddy Bear Dog

Save-Me-Oprah at English Wikipedia, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Shih-Poos are a cross between a Shih Tzu and a Poodle and have perhaps the best hybrid name! Shih-Poos are also intelligent and easily trained, thanks to the Poodle genes, but also don’t like being alone and prefer a constant companion. 

Shih-Poos may or may not require regular grooming. It really depends on what kind of coat they end up with. They do need regular exercise and early socialization to ensure they grow into happy, confident little pups. 

The hybrid can live to about 15 years of age and is prone to the following health issues:

  • Respiratory Problems
  • Eye Issues
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Ear Problems
  • Epilepsy

Maltipoo Teddy Bear Dog

As the name suggests, this hybrid is a cross between the Maltese and the Poodle. Intelligent and very affectionate, Maltipoos are very trainable and are best suited for those families who can give them a lot of time and attention. Oh, and if they inherit that curly poodle coat, they’ll definitely require regular grooming.

Maltipoos have a life expectancy of 13 years and will be prone to the same health issues as their Maltese and Poodle parents, which include:

  • Skin Problems
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Epilepsy 

Morkie Teddy Bear Dog

Morkies are a cross between the Maltese and Yorkshire Terrier breeds and are incredibly affectionate and playful pups. Like the other teddy bear dogs on this list, the Morkie does not do well when left alone and will do best in a family that has time and attention for them.

It should be noted that Morkies are particularly tiny and because of their size can be easily hurt. If you have a family with other/bigger pets and/or boisterous children, it may not be a good fit.

Morkies can live up to 13 years and health issues include:

  • Eye And Ear Problems
  • Patellar Luxation 
  • Hypoglycemia (Low Blood Sugar)

Also worth mentioning is that their tiny mouths can sometimes lead to dental overcrowding and gum disease issues. So you’ll definitely want regular dental checkups with this pup and home cleanings as well.

Should I Get a Teddy Bear Dog?

If you’re like most people, when you meet a teddy bear dog you’ll probably fall head over heels in love. And you’ll want to take that fur ball home. But, as we’ve seen, teddy bear dogs do NOT do well left alone for long periods. So if your lifestyle doesn’t allow you to spend a lot of time with your sweet pup, then this is not the pup for you.

And because of their potential health issues as they mature, you’ll also need to commit to taking them in for regular wellness checks.

If you have the time and are more than happy to be a doting and committed pup parent, a teddy bear dog could make a wonderful companion for you.

Should I Get Pet Insurance?

All dogs are prone to health issues as well as to those unforeseen accidents and illnesses throughout their life. Teddy bear dogs are no different. Unless you have thousands of dollars lying around, able to comfortably pay an emergency vet bill, you’ll want to enroll your fur baby into a pet insurance plan that can pay as much as 90% of said vet bill!

Here are the top pet insurance providers in order based on over 150,000 authentic reviews from pet parents just like you:

Top Pet Insurance Providers of 2024

RatingProviderTotal Review
4.9Healthy Paws7,488
4.8Prudent Pet125
4.5Pets Best7,204
4.3Pet Assure12



The information contained on this blog is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. It is not a substitute for professional veterinary care. Always consult with your veterinarian before making any changes to your pet's health care or treatment plan.

The authors of this blog are not veterinarians and do not claim to be experts in pet health. The information provided here is based on our own experiences and research, as well as information from reputable sources. However, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this information.

We encourage you to do your own research and consult with your veterinarian before making any decisions about your pet's health.

Get a quote today

Leave a review